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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Senator Flip-Flop

Congratulations to Bill Frist for seeing the light on stem cells. I must say that I've had my fill of this point, though:

Although critics often contend that advances with adult stem cells make research on embryonic stem cells unnecessary, it is notable that Mr. Frist, a physician and a researcher by training, disagrees.

If only Frist hadn't flushed his medical credentials down the toilet during the Terry Schiavo fiasco!

Frist is still an SOB in my eyes, based on the nuclear option, "Justice Sunday", and other travesties of his senate presidency. I think this just signals that Frist has decided it's politically prudent at this moment to remove his lips from the posterior of the Christian Right. As Davd Brooks wrote in a recent column on Frist:

There were two things Frist was not: political and ideologically conservative. He barely voted before he ran for Senate. Tom Perdue, his first campaign manager, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Quite frankly, for the first three or four months I wasn't sure he was a Democrat or a Republican. I think I helped him become a Republican."

That may be overstatement, but for his first years in the Senate, Frist seemed to fit the mold of the Tennessee Republican, the mold of Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander - conservative but pragmatic, energetic but not confrontational.

Perhaps he's going back to these roots (or he's tired of being compared to Darth Vader by MoveOn, whichever). But what makes him think he can take more 2008 votes from the likes of Giuliani and McCain as opposed to Santorum and Romney?